Worn muni tyres

At the weekend while riding with Paul, Sarah and Ben at Haldon Woods in Devon I got the chance to give Ben’s qu-ax muni a try.

What struck me first (literally) was the funny qu-ax frame, with the knobbly bits toward the top; it forces you to adopt a ridem-cowboy posture with knees wide apart until you get used to it, it was rather strange.

The second thing that struck me was how much more grip it offered than mine. Riding down a steep track with a large rut down the centre I found myself flying towards the gap, so jumped across it, landing off-camber on the other side. On my muni that would have been it, the tyre would have skidded down the hill and chances are I’d have been sliding down the hill on my rear.

Not so here; the tyre stuck, which almost made me fall off anyway as I was expecting it to slide away rather than hold.

It’s the same tyre, a Halo Contra / Duro Leopard (I think?) 24x3", the difference being that Ben’s is a few weeks old whereas mine is getting on for two years, much of which has been on paved surfaces. The knobbles around the centre of mine are practically slick compared to the huge lumps of rubber on the newer one.

Having not ridden another muni, and with the wear being unnoticeably slow, it’s impossible to tell how much grip the tyre has compared to how much it should do. I’ve been a-ponderin’ about a new tyre for a while based on the worn look of the knobbles, but I had never guessed that the amount of traction could be so massively different.

That was the Saturday… this evening was a fine Monday evening so I took my muni and a shiny new 2.6" gazz that I sto^H^H^Hborrowed from my brother over to my local trails at Ham Hill, a few miles away. I did two laps of the forest with a quick tyre change in between to see how a worn 24x3" compared to an unused 24x2.6".

The 2.6" was incredibly light, it was much more nimble that the fatter 3" and easier to steer through tricky bits rather than plough over them, which given the technical nature of some of the trails was a good advantage.

The better tread meant I got most of the way round before a UPD caused by sliding sideways down a slope into a really sticky quagmire on the path. Ewww…

On the downside, there’s a log across the path at one point which needs to be jumped on and over; the 3" doesn’t care, but the 2.6" went THUMP on the rim as the log just overcame the thickness of the tyre.

I think I’ll stick with a 3", mainly because weight aside it looks more hardcore than the narrower 2.6", and I like the cushy ride compared to the more direct control of the narrower tyre.

It has definitely made up my mind as to whether to get a new tyre or not, though. More to pick up at BUC… :slight_smile:


PS: John, I got your new tyre muddy, sorry… :stuck_out_tongue:
PPS: Weird… it made a thread without any posts. Most odd…

Worn tyres are nice for riding in the summer. They give you basically a semi-slick, so less rolling resistance, I don’t think you can get a gazz semi slick. They’re rubbish on mud though as you’ve discovered.

I went muni riding on Saturday and the trails were almost as perfect as they could be, at one point I rode about 2 or 3 miles of technical singletrack with not a bit of mud in sight.